Logan O’Hoppe Keeps a Journal on Hitting

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Logan O’Hoppe is a promising young hitter. No. 51 on our 2023 Top 100 Prospects list, the 23-year-old catcher is coming off a season during which he logged a 159 wRC+ and hit 26 home runs between a pair of Double-A stops. Dealt from the Phillies to the Angels in early August — Brandon Marsh went east to Philadelphia — O’Hoppe went on to make his big league debut with Los Angeles in late September. He saw action in five games and notched four hits in 14 get-your-feet-wet at-bats.

O’Hoppe broke camp as the Halo’s primary catcher this spring and has proceeded to slash .244/.300/.533 with four home runs and a 122 wRC+ over 50 plate appearances. He talked hitting prior to Sunday’s game at Fenway Park.


David Laurila: When and how did you learn to hit?

Logan O’Hoppe: “I’m still learning. I think it’s something that none of us have completely figured out. But yeah, just taking reps; I feel like that’s the best way to do it.”

Laurila: What about learning to hit when you were growing up?

O’Hoppe: “I started swinging the bat at a pretty young age. We had a batting cage in the backyard ever since I was born. Growing up, my dad and I would go back there, and he would throw to me. He still does in the offseason sometimes.”

Laurila: Growing up with a batting cage in the backyard sounds fun.

O’Hoppe: “I loved it. I loved it. It’s not like I needed to work on a swing when I was five years old, I just loved to play and to hit. We’re a big baseball family; we really just love the game. It took up a lot of my time. I never even played video games growing up, it was always just hop in the cage.”

Laurila: You’re quite the dedicated baseball nerd if you don’t play video games.

O’Hoppe: “No video games, not really even… I mean, I do cook a little bit for a hobby. But it’s just baseball, mainly.”

Laurila: Did you have a hitting coach growing up?

O’Hoppe: “I played travel ball every year and just worked with those guys, and with my dad. So no, I never really had a hitting guy. That’s something I was never really super uptight about. Luckily, I had my dad. He helped me a lot.”

Laurila: You were drafted out of high school. How much have you changed since that time?

O’Hoppe: “I don’t know if I’ve changed much, but I’ve definitely made adjustments like everyone does. I mean, I’m making adjustments day to day. So, I’d say that ‘change’ isn’t the word, but rather constant adjustments.”

Laurila: What was the primary message you got from hitting coaches once you got to pro ball? I assume it wasn’t just, ‘Keep doing what you do.’

O’Hoppe: “It was kind of that the first summer, but after that it was… I mean, it’s a bunch of different things. I wish I had a concrete answer for you. There have been so many things that we’d be here all day if I tried to go through all of it. It’s been a beautiful mess, I like to call it.

“I will say that I went to Driveline in 2021 and that helped me a lot. I learned a lot about mechanical things in my swing. I’ve never liked to think mechanics, though. I like to think a lot more about approach and where my mind is at in the box.”

Laurila: How would you describe your swing?

O’Hoppe: “I know that I definitely like to pull the ball — that’s where my strength is at — but I’m trying to work on using the whole field and expanding my sights a little bit. Hitting is kind of a day-to-day thing for me. I wake up with a completely clean slate and just try to get myself in line.”

Laurila: You said that you think more about approach…

O’Hoppe: “I think that my approach, and my mindset, is everything when I’m in the box. When my head is in a good space, my body will take care of itself. It’s about being calm and confident. I’ve found that if I’m passive and a little bit on the timid side, things doesn’t work out too well. So yeah, I just try to keep my foot on the gas, being aggressive, but at the same time selective.”

Laurila: Do you think like a catcher at the plate?

O’Hoppe: “I do. I do that sometimes, and it’s a blessing and a curse.”

Laurila: In what way is it a curse?

O’Hoppe: “The guy that’s catching behind me may not do the same thing I might do. There are different situations and how you would approach them walking up to the plate, and I think some catchers know that and then go off of that. That’s why I try to keep a pretty clear head.”

Laurila: And the blessing?

O’Hoppe: “The blessing is that sometimes it works out; sometimes you get the pitch you’re looking for.”

Laurila: Do you watch other hitters with your own game in mind?

O’Hoppe: “I do. I watch a lot of guys, especially on our team. We’ve got some guys who can swing it. I don’t think I really compare to any of them, though. I mean, look at my stance; it doesn’t look too much like anybody else’s. But I definitely watch different movements that guys make. Like, I love watching Wardo [Taylor Ward] hit. We talk quite a bit about it. I listen to him as much as I can because I like what he’s saying. He’s super smart.”

Laurila: How different is hitting in the big leagues?

O’Hoppe: “It’s different, for sure. Guys are better and are able to do things more consistently. It’s still the same game — 94 mph here is the same 94 mph it was in Double-A — but again, it’s different. You see a little bit more of a chess match.”

Laurila: Any final thoughts on hitting?

O’Hoppe: It’s tough to stay in a consistent headspace day to day. That’s why I grab my journal a lot. I put down a lot of my thoughts and try to keep myself centered that way. I try to stay consistent, which is tough… especially up here in different environments, different cities. I try to be where my feet are.”

Laurila: Is your journal all baseball?

O’Hoppe: “I have two. One is for off-the-field stuff and one is for baseball stuff. I write about hitting stuff a lot in the black one. The black one is for baseball. The brown leather one is for life.”


Earlier “Talks Hitting” interviews can found through these links: Jo Adell, Jeff Albert, Greg Allen, Nolan Arenado, Aaron Bates, Alex Bregman, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, JJ Bleday, Bobby Bradley, Jay Bruce, Matt Chapman, Michael Chavis, Gavin Cross, Jacob Cruz, Nelson Cruz, Paul DeJong, Josh Donaldson, Brendan Donovan, Donnie Ecker, Rick Eckstein, Drew Ferguson, Justin Foscue, Michael Fransoso, Ryan Fuller, Joey Gallo, Devlin Granberg, Andy Haines, Mitch Haniger, Robert Hassell III, Nico Hoerner, Rhys Hoskins, Eric Hosmer, Tim Hyers, Josh Jung, Jimmy Kerr, Heston Kjerstad, Steven Kwan, Trevor Larnach, Doug Latta, Evan Longoria, Michael Lorenzen, Gavin Lux, Dave Magadan, Trey Mancini, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Hunter Mense, Owen Miller, Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, Daniel Murphy, Vinnie Pasquantino, Brent Rooker, Drew Saylor, Trevor Story, Fernando Tatis Jr., Spencer Torkelson, Mark Trumbo, Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Josh VanMeter, Robert Van Scoyoc, Chris Valaika, Zac Veen, Mark Vientos, Matt Vierling, Luke Voit, Anthony Volpe, Christian Walker, Jared Walsh, Jordan Westburg, Jesse Winker, Mike Yastrzemski, Nick Yorke, Kevin Youkilis

David Laurila grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and now writes about baseball from his home in Cambridge, Mass. He authored the Prospectus Q&A series at Baseball Prospectus from December 2006-May 2011 before being claimed off waivers by FanGraphs. He can be followed on Twitter @DavidLaurilaQA.

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1 year ago

I like when I see trades work out for both teams. Logan O’Hoppe for Brandon Marsh seems to be working out well.